Pearl Onions, Mushrooms, and Fennel

Pearl onions are often underused as a side dish, but their mild flavor pairs well with the earthy mushrooms and sweet fennel. The cornstarch adds a gravy-like sauciness to this dish from the rich juices, but for something a little creamier, add a few splashes of coconut milk at the end of cooking.

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Pearl Onions, Mushrooms, and Fennel

 

2 tablespoons (15mL) extra virgin olive oil
1 pound (454g) frozen pearl onions, thawed and drained
1 small head fennel, thinly sliced
1/2 pound (227g) cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon (5mL) dried oregano
Fine sea or Himalayan salt to taste
3 tablespoons (45mL) water
1 teaspoon (5mL) cornstarch

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pearl onions and cook until they start to brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add the fennel, mushrooms, and oregano. Cook until the mushrooms are softened, about 5 minutes more. Sprinkle with salt.

Mix the water with the cornstarch in a small bowl to create a slurry. Pour the cornstarch mixture over the pearl onion mixture. Mix well. Turn to low heat and cook for about 3 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Season with additional salt to taste. Serve warm.

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Cream of Mushroom and Kohlrabi Soup

A handful of ingredients and a short cooking time is all it takes to whip up this creamy soup that’ll highlights the same creaminess found in our favourite condensed can.

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Cream of Mushroom and Kohlrabi Soup

6 large bulbs chopped kohlrabi (about 6 cups)
6 green onions, chopped and whites and greens divided
0.5oz (14g) dried mixed mushrooms
3/4 teaspoon (4mL) ground sage
1/2 teaspoon (3mL) fine sea salt, plus more to taste
2 3/4 cup (660mL) unsweetened nondairy milk
1 cup (240mL) water
1 tablespoon (15mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound (454g) cremini mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons (45mL) finely chopped fresh sage
Fresh parsley, for garnish

Put the kohlrabi, the whites from the green onions, dried mushrooms, ground sage, and salt in a large pot. Top with the nondairy milk and water. Stir, and bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the kohlrabi is tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of the green ends from the green onions and the fresh sage. Cook for 2 minutes, until fragrant. Sprinkle with salt to taste. Set aside until the kohlrabi is finished.

Once the kohlrabi is cooked through, use an immersion blender to purée the mixture into a soup, adding extra water if needed (if you don’t have an immersion blender, let the mixture cool slightly then purée in batches in a food processor). Once smooth, stir in mushroom mixture. Adjust for seasonings. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.

Mushroom Nut Loaf

This recipe is relatively flexible in terms of the nuts and herbs. I love swapping the pecans and almonds for walnuts and heartnuts, and adding savory and sage to the other herbs, as well.

nut loaf

Mushroom Nut Loaf

2 tablespoons (30mL) extra-virgin olive oil
2 small onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups (480mL) chopped cremini mushrooms
1 cup (240mL) almonds, chopped (see Note)
3/4 cup (180mL) pecans, chopped (see Note)
1 tablespoon (15mL) fresh thyme
1/2 tablespoon (7mL) fresh rosemary
1/2 cup (120mL) apple cider
1/4 cup (60mL) sorghum flour
Sea or Himalayan salt
Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, mushrooms and nuts. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the herbs, apple cider, and sorghum flour. Mix until smooth, cooking until the mixture has thickened, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.

Use a spatula to scrape the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes, until firm and lightly browned. Let stand at least 20 minutes before turning out of the pan. Serve warm.

Note: Finely chop most the nuts, leaving a couple tablespoons  in tact for a nice crunch. (This is easily done in a food processor). The finer chopping aids in a loaf that stays together when slicing. Similarly, if you unmold it too soon, it will not stay together when slicing.